CHICAGO — A Black LGBTQ social justice group has launched a mutual aid fund for other Black queer people needing help with rent, food and other issues.
The Lighthouse Foundation is raising money for its Black Queer Mutual Aid Fund, which will give out $100 micro-grants to Black LGBTQ people in need in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jamie Frazier, executive director of the Lighthouse Foundation, said in an online post that the foundation applied for the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as for assistance from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, but was turned down by both programs.
“I was devastated,” said Frazier, who is also lead pastor at the Lighthouse Church of Chicago in Lincoln Park. “But after I realized that the foundations weren’t going to save us, I said like so many Black Queer folks before me, ‘we will organize to save ourselves, damn it!'”
The mutual aid fund launched Monday and has since raised more than $3,000.
“I see us out here organizing, raising money, resisting the police, educating and transforming,” Frazier said.
The Lighthouse Foundation is also hosting a June 20 “White Ally Training” on Zoom. It will be based on “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Boystown and Lincoln Park for Block Club Chicago.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.